Baratza Sette 30 vs, 270 vs. 270wi


When looking for an entry to a mid-level electric burr grinder, several names will inevitably pop up, and this is one of them. The Baratza Sette.

It has a recognizable shape, and people have no trouble recommending the Sette 30, 270, and 270 wi in each of their respective price brackets. But how do they stack up?

Before we get going, I want to make it very clear that I purchased this grinder with my own money, and all of the opinions in this video are explicitly my own. 

I opted to buy the 270wi because within this grinder, I effectively have a Sett 30, a Sett 270, and a 270wi all in one to comment on the entire product lineup.

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Starting with the design and build quality, I was immediately struck by how different this grinder is visually and form factor-wise.

Personally, I like the unique looks, but I can see them being a little divisive depending on the styling of the kitchen you plan to put it in.

The countertop footprint is extremely compact, but then it sweeps up to a wider top section, and perched on top of that is a 400-gram hopper.

The result is a grinder that is quite visually top-heavy, but it is relatively sturdy in reality. My main issue with the form factor was the overall height, you’ll have to measure your kitchen, but in mine, the 15 and three-quarter-inch height was blocking my overhead cabinets, which were far from ideal.

Build Quality

Most of the external parts are made of plastic, with the exception of the portafilter holder and the actual burr assembly.

This seems to be a bit of a trend for Baratz grinders, where they opt to spend most of the money on the internal components and have a relatively basic plastic exterior. 

On the base model Seete 30, I don’t see this as too much of an issue, but as you start to step up to the 270, especially the 270wi models, I don’t think that the finishing level is quite high for the asking price.

This is one disadvantage of using the same chassis for the whole product lineup, but I think it’s important to note that it doesn’t feel cheap. 

There’s no bend or flex to the shell because of the thick plastic used, and it does feel like it would hold up relatively well over time.

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User Interface

On the face of it, things were pretty straightforward. Two buttons on the right side are used to adjust the programmed grinding time or, in the case of the 270wi weight.

On the 270 models, you also get three buttons on the left side to program in three different recallable doses. For example, if you want to switch between a single, double and triple shot basket.

The start button starts the grinding and allows you to pause the grind to settle the grounds before continuing. while a stop button will cancel the grind entirely 

The adjustability of the portafilter holder arms was nice. The rubber grips can be rotated to suit a variety of different styles of portafilter or even other brewing methods, such as a V60 if you put the arms into their wider position.

The top support for the portafilters was a little finicky at times but served its purpose well enough, I was never worried about my portafilter or doors and cup dropping while grinding.

My single biggest complaint about the user experience and possibly the Seete lineup as a whole is the grinding volume. 

These things are loud. If you’re someone who wants to make coffee while others are sleeping or even while entertaining, the volume of these grinders could be a bit of a concern.

These are not grinders where you can carry on your conversation while they’re grinding, which might be partly due to the unique way they work.

The Seete grinders work in the opposite way to most other conical set burr grinders. Instead of the center bur rotating, it remains fixed while the outer bur rotates around it.

Apparently, this helps with grinding efficiency, and there might be some merit to that because these grinders are fast.

Grinding an 18-gram dose of espresso took just 11 seconds. For comparison, I was programming in times closer to 16 seconds on the new Mahlkonig X54 Allround grinder.

Grind retention was also respectable at around 0.4 or 0.5 grams between shots which is manageable if you consider single dosing.

The grind quality was very nice straight out of the grinder with a fluffy texture, like really fluffy, and almost no visible clumping until I got to the absolute finest grind settings. 

Even then, it was minimal and an improvement over something like the Breville smart grinder pro or their other built-in grinders.

To grind fine enough for espresso, I did have to install two of the included shims. Luckily that process was pretty straightforward, and the required Allen key was included.

Once I installed those shims, I was able to pull some nice bottomless portafilter shots, and the taste was about where I’d expect for a conical grinder in this price range.

Clean with decent clarity and body that tended a bit towards the lighter side compared to the other grinders I currently have in the studio.

With this combination of good grinding quality, great grinding speed, and decent programmability, I can see why people don’t avoid recommending the Sette lineup of grinders.

If you’ve made it this far in the article, and you’re happy with what you’ve heard so far, your next question likely is which one of the three should I buy?

All three of the Sette 30 270 and 270 wi will produce the same quality of grinds, the question of which one is right for you will come down to what brew methods you want to use and how much you value the programmability.

Sette 30

If you are not planning to make espresso get the set a 30, that is an easy recommendation for me to make. For the price that they’re asking for that grinder, this is some great grind quality.

However, if you want to use brew methods that require some more precise control, like espresso, it will not be the best option.

With only 30 grind steps spanning the whole range of 230 to 950 microns, each step is about a 24-micron jump.

And while this might sound quite small, it’s still a little bit too large to dial in espresso truly. 

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So I tried to dial in using only the top adjustment ring, which would be the equivalent of having the Sette 30, and I found myself running too fast at setting five and then almost choking my machine at setting four.

Sette 270

The Sette 270 solves this problem by adding a micro-adjustment ring. Nine steps of micro-adjustment between the existing 30 macro steps result in a combined 270 steps, hence the name.

And although the coffee community likes to frown upon stepped grinders, I can assure you these steps are plenty small enough to use in an effectively stepless way. 

An argument could be made that this is a better option because you can return to the same grind setting. 

For example, if you wanted to switch from espresso to a pour-over setting and then back to the same espresso setting. Some very high-end grinders use this method for that exact reason.

The other feature that the Sette 270 adds, besides the extra grind steps, is the pre-programmable dosing buttons. 

This will be useful if you often switch between double and single shots, making espresso and making pour-over, or any other situation where you’re changing your dose or grind setting.

If you’re someone who plans to grind at the same setting with the same dose every day, then you probably won’t even touch that feature. And if that’s the case, it should be noted that you can save some money by going with the Sette 30 and buying the 270 adjustment ring after the fact.

Sette 270 wi

Instead of relying on a timed grind, the wi model has a built-in Acaia scale that not only weighs the dose as its ground but also intelligently learns when to stop the burrs from getting exactly the dose you want, every time.

I was excited to test out this feature, but after about a month or so of use, I don’t think the 270 wi would be my choice, even if money were no option. Here’s why.

According to the display, when the scale is working as intended, it can get the dose to about plus-minus 0.1 grams, which is extremely impressive.

The first problem is the way that it uses the cantilevered portafilter forks to make that measurement. 

Add in a portafilter of unknown weight and dimensions, also cantilevered from the same point. Anyone even slightly familiar with physics will start to see the difficulties in the calculation this scale is trying to perform.

This means that while the dose is consistent from shot to shot, assuming you use the same portafilter, it is not necessarily accurate when checked with an external scale or if you change the vessel you’re grinding into.

The second issue was that the system overall was pretty finicky. If it wasn’t happy with how the portafilter was zeroed, or you put the portafilter in too quickly or took too long to redistribute the grinds, it would freeze up or reset itself.

Once you get a good routine going and learn its little quirks, it’s fine, but it just wasn’t anywhere near as intuitive as I was hoping.

Finally, and probably the biggest issue is that time-based grinders with a full hopper can generally dose with about 0.2 to 0.3 grams of accuracy.

So for the added fuss and the added cost of the 270 wi, I don’t think the added 0.1 or 0.2 grams are necessarily worth it.

In Conclusion

The Sette lineup of grinders is a solid option in their respective price brackets. The only real downsides are the height and the very loud grinding volume.

The Sette 30 will provide the same grind quality as the 270 models at a lower cost, but it is not suitable for espresso due to the large steps between grind settings.

Stepping up to the 270 will give you an almost stepless level of grind adjustment, which is more than good enough for dialing in espresso, and also provides three programmable time-based dosing buttons.

The 270wi has some impressive tech built-in, but in its current form, the increased fussiness and price to gain marginal dosing consistency improvements make it hard to justify over the already great base 270.

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Where To Buy

Baratza Sette Review | 30, 270 & 270wi
30270270wi
Weight7lbs (3.2 kg)7lbs (3.2 kg)7lbs (3.2 kg)
Dimensions LxWxH13x40x24 (cm)13x40x24 (cm)13x40x24 (cm)
Bean Hopper Capacity300-400g5.5 oz (160g)5.5 oz (160g)
Grounds Bin Capacity5.5 oz (160g)5.5 oz (160g)5.5 oz (160g)
Speed To GrindEspresso 3.5g/secEspresso 3.5g/secEspresso 3.5g/sec
Manual Brewing 5.5g/secManual Brewing 5.5g/secManual Brewing 5.5g/sec
Grind Adjustments31 Steps30 steps30 steps
Micro AdjusterNA9 Indicators9 Indicators
LED Display
Dosing Buttons
Espresso
Amazon Star Rating
Price$299.95$399.95$599.95



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